Uranium moratorium needed as Fukushima falls apart
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, spokesperson on nuclear issues, 23 August 2013
More than two years after the Fukushima disaster began, 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water has poured into the sea from one of 1060 giant tanks storing the deadly liquid.
“The Australian-fuelled Fukushima catastrophe continues with TEPCO operators calling for international assistance to cope with the most recent leak, which they describe as a ‘serious incident’,” said Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.
“Cesium 137, Strontium 90 and other radioactive poison is spewing into the Pacific Ocean every day.
“When I visited the Fukushima last year I met some of the 160,000 people who continue to be stranded because their homes and their farms are now contamination zones.
“As an exporter of uranium, the government should declare a moratorium until it has reassessed Australian standards and responsibilities in supplying uranium to Japan and the Tokyo Electric Power Company [TEPCO] where demonstrably inadequate regulation was evident.
“Despite the presence of Australian uranium in the four Fukushima Daiichi reactors when the disaster began, the Australian Government continues to pursue uranium sales to Russia and India – two countries with appalling nuclear safety records.
“The Government has done precisely nothing to address recommendations and issues raised in the September 2011 United Nations (UN) system-wide study on the implications of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
“Australia’s mining and export of uranium is irresponsible and unnecessary, providing only 0.29 per cent of national export revenue and less than 0.015 per cent of Australian jobs in the decade to 2011.
"The fossil and nuclear industries are being rapidly out-competed by renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies,” Senator Ludlam concluded.
Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302